How to Make Good Decisions

Life is full of decisions; we make hundreds of them every day. Most are automatic and minor ones. However, occasionally we are compelled to make vitally important decisions about major life-goals. These decisions are often practical or ethical ones. For example, we occasionally have to take major decisions like choosing a marriage partner (assuming they'll take you, that is), choosing to leave a partner in marriage, or decisions about what to do with your life.

A positive attitude to life helps make major decision making far easier and less stressful. Here are some general hints on decision making...

1. Get rid of your mental blocks.

2. Give up the notion that there is only one 'right solution' to the problem/dilemma you are confronting.

3. Don't fear making a mistake.

4. View your problems as a normal part of life (is that possible?).

5. See yourself not as an indecisive person; but rather someone who sometimes behaves indecisively...that's a rather kind way of putting it.

6. Develop your intuition and logic, but listen to what your heart says (gut feeling).

7. Stop and think before you act. Stop yourself doing the first thing you think of.

8. Be specific.

9. Know what your goals and your values are, the principles of your existence, before taking a major life decision. Ask yourself if the ideal outcome is in alignment with your values.

10. Write down all the positive and negative factors for and against taking a particular course of action. Benjamin Franklin did it in two columns when confronted with major decisions.

11. Think how the decision will benefit YOU first. Do what you and not what other people really want.

12. Try to think calmly and rationally (very difficult for me).

13 Do your homework and get all the facts before you make the decision.

14. Get opinions and feedback from others you trust; but don't let them make the decision for you.

15. Establish priorities and 'soul search'. Ask yourself what are the critical factors? What is the single most important consideration?

16. Trust your impulses, your 'gut-feelings'.

17. Don't take your decision too seriously; nothing is that important, no matter how much it appears like that to you. Ask yourself how much will it really matter in one, five or ten years time? Remember, no decision is irreversible; if you find out some way down the track that you've taken the wrong course.

18. Look for opportunities in any decision. Each 'mistake' is an opportunity to learn. A problem became a great opportunity to do something I'd never ever thought of. If you are making mistakes, you are not learning and growing. So say to yourself, 'it doesn't really matter', or 'so what'...then 'get into this world'.

19. Accept total responsibility for your decisions. Responsibility is not BLAME - so don't blame others for putting yourself in this predicament. This attitude helps to relieve your anger or resentment and gives one peace of mind.

20. Change course if your strategy is not working - the quality of your life is at stake.  Learn when to correct your direction.  Bear in mind that pilots are off course on their flight-path 90% of the time... but they still arrive at their destination.

21. Be prepared to take a few risks in life. Look out for opportunities. Every successful business or venture started out with an idea which was a risk. Nothing is infallible. The knowledge that you can handle anything that comes your way is your key to allowing yourself to take risks. Security is a state of mind. It's not having things, it's handling things.

22. Look ahead to the future - the past is already gone. See the path ahead as an adventure into the unknown and a time for challenge.